Cornwall Councillors turn back on 6% council tax rise
Councillors in Cornwall have voted against a grandstand proposal to consider raising council tax by 6% to limit the damage caused by a swathe of budget cuts in the county.
In a recorded vote, councillors backing the motion to propose 6% as an alternative to a 1.97% rise, were outnumbered by more than two to one despite passionate pleas to enlist more support for their cause.
In an often heated debate, councillors heard how only a council tax rise of 19% would offset the damage caused by £24million of cuts planned by the council for the forthcoming year.
The cabinet’s 1.97% proposal, which will be considered by full council next month, would see council tax rise by 47p per week for the band D tax payer, where as 6% would lead to a £1.44 rise per week
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But led by councillor Bob Egerton, those in favour, argued introducing a 6% rise would reduce the impact of the cuts on services.
Speaking to council, Mr Egerton said: “The cabinet has offered a 1.97% rise. It is based on what they think is a political reality.
“This option involves massive cuts to services across all directorates.
“6% would still entail cuts in council services, more efficiency savings, etc. But it will enable us to have at least £8million more in the revenue budget, not only next year but in subsequent years.”
However, council leader John Pollard, said he believed that those who want a higher raise will eventually coalesce around 2%.
“I believe the public will accept it, I believe it is the best we can achieve,” he said. “I ask the council to support the idea that 2% is achievable and risk free.”
The council will consider raising council tax by 1.97% on November 26